April 2014  

BUS ROUTES CUT
Public transport users from Caldicot face a severe blow when Stagecoach, operator of the 74 and X74 bus routes between Newport and Chepstow, announced that both routes would be discontinued, leaving Caldicot with no direct bus route to Newport or Chepstow. Stagecoach blamed cuts in subsidies from the Welsh Government but this was denied by a Welsh Government spokesman, who pointed out that the ‘reimbursement rate’ had been set following an independent review. An MCC spokesman said the council would work with bus operators and Newport City Council in an attempt to find alternatives.

TOWN TEAM
MCC loaned £10,000 to Caldicot Town Team. Some of the money, from the Asda supermarket development ‘Section 106’ fund, would, according to Town Team chair Aaron Reekes, be used on regeneration projects. £5,000 would be used to sponsor the ‘Fortress Wales’ event to be held at Caldicot Castle. Local politicians have expressed concern that the Town Team was not sufficiently democratic and had not interacted sufficiently with local businesses. After arguments at its AGM on 29 April, it was decided to delay election of directors until opportunities had been taken to increase membership of the Community Interest Company that had been established.

PUB TO BECOME HOUSES
MCC was due to consider plans to convert the Tippling Philosopher Inn, a Grade II listed building, into two houses. Under the plans five more houses would be erected in the car park. Caldicot Town Council had approved the pub conversion but raised objection to the additional houses.

ARSON ATTACK AT SCHOOL
A fire at Caldicot School was being treated as arson. An office window had been broken and papers and curtains set alight. Four fire engines from Caldicot and Chepstow attended the fire, which had been reported at 8.20 on Saturday 26 April. Little damage was done.

MP VISITS FOODBANK
Local MP Jessica Morden and Welsh Assembly Minister John Griffiths visited Caldicot food bank. In its first year the food bank has issued parcels to feed over 500 people

NEW DEAN FOR NEW TIMES
Rev Jeremy Harris was appointed area dean for Netherwent, which includes Caldicot, Chepstow, Magor, Caerwent, Mathern and St Arvans. The new dean would oversee the creation of new ‘ministry areas’ in which teams of ministers will replace individual parish priests.

EXTRA FUNDING FOR PITCH
Additional funds were allocated for the construction of a new 3G pitch at Caldicot School. The funding was to cover a £50,000 rise in costs from the £600,000 anticipated when the plans were adopted in 2012. £35,000 of the additional funding was originally allocated for spending on a community centre at Magor. £425,000 would come from ‘Section 106’ money from the Asda supermarket development.

HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot at the end of April 2014 was a three bedroom semi-detached house at £157,995. The most expensive was a five bedroom detached property at £424,950.

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